Craft Beer Rising 2018 Highlights

22/03/2018

"36 hours for a beer festival is kind of crazy, but all beer festivals should be like this one — the vibe was awesome." - Max, Sixpoint

 

Since its creation in 2013, Craft Beer Rising (hereafter CBR) has gone from strength to strength year on year. Now the UK’s biggest craft beer festival, CBR brought together 175 breweries this year which drove the attendance of over 12,000 excited beer lovers throughout the festival. Couple the amazing beer selection with equally delicious street food, and great live music and there’s no doubt you’ve got a winning formulation.

 

Even though we arrived at CBR the day before the festivities began, the atmosphere was electric. Hundreds of brewers and importers setting up their stands, excited to proudly display the product of their passion to the patrons of CBR.


Day one of CBR got underway and we were thrilled to now be bringing Sixpoint to the festival as well as our regular, ever-popular, portfolio of Saugatuck, Tailgate, Fordham & Dominion, and Cameron’s. We had our regular stand with the majority of our portfolio and a separate stand devoted to Sixpoint, manned by some of the Sixpoint guys themselves.


So what was the verdict?

Sixpoint, from Brooklyn to Brick Lane


Everyone was loving all things Sixpoint, not only were there never-ending crowds eager to try the beers, but also to speak to the Sixpoint team. It was amazing to hear the guys talk about their vision for each of their beers and the processes they went through to create them. It is about more than just the taste for them, it’s how they want you to feel when drinking it.

 

That’s what makes CBR amazing, the opportunity to talk directly with brewers, understand what they love about their beers, witness their passion and become enthused by it. In this way Sixpoint’s beers became more than a drink at CBR, they became an experience.

 


The magic of CBR seemed to rub off on the Sixpoint guys too. I caught up with them once they’d had a chance to get some sleep to find out how they liked their first CBR. They described it as exhausting but brilliant... "36 hours for a beer festival is kind of crazy, but all beer festivals should be like this one — the vibe was awesome."

Lots of Love for Tailgate Peanut Butter Milk Stout!


Similarly, the majority of the Heathwick beers went down a treat! I lost count of the number of times someone would come and ask for a taster of Tailgate’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, only to return 20 minutes later with all their friends insisting that they too needed to have a taste. It was beautiful to see the excitement and enthusiasm the beer brought out in fully grown adults that could be likened to a child’s excitement at Christmas.


We had a few people return at the end of each night announcing that the Peanut Butter Milk Stout had won their stand-out beer of the night.

 

A Taste of Beer History


It wasn’t just about what was happening at the beer stands though, CBR played host to a whole range of fantastic talks about all things beer. My favourite was a discussion on the history of beer, a part of which included a sampling of a beer that had been brewed to replicate the exact conditions of traditional IPAs.

 

This means that the beer was subject to shifting temperatures and regular movement to emulate the conditions it would have gone through during its voyage to India. This alone made the passion and obsession that goes into craft beer evident; the extremes that brewers are willing to go to create authenticity and alter the beer in minute ways is a testament to the quality of their craft.

 

I had that feeling of awe and appreciation later in the same talk when sampling London’s Keeper, a beer brewed in 2013 but using yeast from the original Truman’s brewery that had been cryogenically frozen long before. Drinking that felt like drinking history and inspired a sense of clarity regarding the scale of the craft beer movement; although all these 175 breweries are making their contribution, the industry is about so much more than them.

A Fantastic Event!


All in all, CBR 2018 was fantastic. The beer was amazing, the people were great, the food was delicious, and the music got you moving! I think Ian’s dance moves behind the Heathwick stand encapsulate everything we want to say about CBR.


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